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EARLY START

Senate Vote At Noon On Reopening Government; Senators Flake And Graham Back In GOP Fold; Poll: Democrats' Advantage Slips; Across The U.S., Women March; SAG Honors Go To "Three Billboards" Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired January 22, 2018 - 05:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: -- tweeted some of that stuff.

All right. Imagine a supermarket with absolutely no checkout line. Amazon opened a cashier-less store. You'll walk-in, customers scan the Amazon Go App when they enter, censors throughout the store track your movements and those sensors know how to charge you, charge your Amazon accounts for the items that you pick up.

Shoppers then walk out the door. The Seattle store offers groceries, ready-to-eat meals, and cold drinks. There are no plans yet to open other locations. Amazon opening physical shops, of course, is laced with irony. It's widely blamed for driving traditional retailers out of business. This experiment really sorts of fascinating. Walk in. Walk out. Sensors do all the work.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Three million in this country worried they work as cashiers if that succeeds. OK. EARLY START continues right now with the latest on the government shutdown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: It would be my intention to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. It would be my intention to proceed to legislation that would address DACA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The Senate majority leader intends to address immigration reform. Is that enough for Democrats to back a spending plan to reopen the government? Signs are mixed. We will find out at noon today. Happy Monday. Happy shutdown Monday. Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Not so happy for federal workers. I'm Dave Briggs. Monday, January 22nd. It is 5:00 a.m. in the east. Optimism is low in D.C. about a deal. The government shutdown entering day three. The pain is real since it is Monday. The first day of unpaid furlough for about 800,000 federal workers.

At noon today in the Senate, a key vote on a measure to reopen the federal government through February 8th. We're only talking about a CR. Not a long-term funding deal. New, though, last night, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's intention to take up a bill that would extend protections for DREAMers.

Immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Republicans hope McConnell's promise will lure enough Democrats to turn the government lights back on.

ROMANS: But overnight, two Democratic sources told CNN they expect today's vote to fall short. A top aide said McConnell's commitments are just not firm enough. A Republican source tells CNN McConnell made no promises the House will take up whatever the Senate passes. Still there is some optimism in the GOP, the number two Senate Republican John Cornyn says it is better to have a successful vote today than a failed vote overnight.

BRIGGS: Senior Republican aides says leaders think they have a shot at picking off enough Democrats to move forward. The aide says, quote, "This is their off ramp." Let's bring in CNN's Suzanne Malveaux live in Washington with the very latest. Suzanne, good morning to you. Any optimism there on Capitol Hill?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave and Christi. And there is some optimism, but all of those who thought they would be pulling this all-nighters for that 1 a.m. vote on the Republican proposal to reopen the government, they got to sleep on this overnight.

But there are two Democratic sources that say this 11-hour extension is not likely enough to get those 60 Senate votes that's necessary or the seven Democrats necessary to fund and restart the government when this critical vote comes to a test at noon.

So, the question is here, what can move if anything during this window? Well, first, we take a look at what is on the table. Well, after hours of negotiations on Sunday by this bipartisan group of 20 senators and a late meeting that you have between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, McConnell offered this.

Fund the government for three weeks and during those three weeks, the Senate would address the Democrats' demand to come up with a plan to protect those hundreds of thousands of DREAMers from deportation and perhaps take it up afterwards.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: It would be my intention to resolve these issues as quickly as possible so that we can move on to other business that's important to our country. Assuming that the government remains open, it would be my intention to proceed to legislation that would address DACA, border security and related issues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: So, the problem here is that as Schumer stated right after McConnell's announcement is that this is way too vague. It doesn't definitely give dates or timetable to force Republicans to put real legislation on the table to push it forward. So, if you listen to what McConnell says, he talks about his intentions to address DACA and border security and spending, but he doesn't really give any iron clad commitments. It really is the lack of trust between the Republicans and the Democrats that is under cutting the possibility of a deal.

So, what is notable and also what happened this weekend is that both sides did move a little bit on the positions. You had McConnell who gave up his demand that the president signoff on the immigration bill before its moves to the Senate floor.

And you had Schumer who offered to give the president funding for the border wall in exchange for protection for the DREAMers. So, Dave and Christine, we are going to watch it in five hours, at 10 a.m. the Senate will resume its talks and that critical vote to follow at noon.

ROMANS: All right. Suzanne Malveaux, thank you so much for that.

[05:05:04] So, what is the way forward here? Two Republican senators who broke from their party on Friday night are now back in the fold. Arizona's Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina agreeing to vote yes on the stop-gap funding bill known as continuing resolution.

Flake and Graham have been key participants in negotiation with the Democrats. They believe the White House has not enough to strike a deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you can come up with an agreement by the 8th?

SENATOR JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: I don't know. I hope we can, but I'm doubting it because that relies on the White House to actually work with us on this and we have not seen that yet.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The White House staff, I think, is making it very difficult. I've talked with the president and his heart is right on this issue. I think he has a good understanding of what will sell and every time we have a proposal it is only yanked back by staff members. As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we are going nowhere. He's been an outlier for years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Some friendly fire in the Republican Party. The White House using the senator's own words to defend Miller and attack Graham saying, quote, "As long as Senator Graham chooses to support legislation that sides with people in this country illegally, we are going nowhere. He has been an outlier for years."

ROMANS: Overnight, the White House kept up the pressure on the Democrats, quote, "Democrats can't shut down the booming Trump economy so they shut down the government instead. The president's position is clear. We will not negotiate on the status of unlawful immigrants while the Democrats hold our military and government hostage."

BRIGGS: Before the statement, the White House talking point on the military angering Iraq veteran and double amputee senator, Tammy Duckworth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D), ILLINOIS: I will not be lectured of what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger. I have a message for Cadet Bone Spurs. If you cared about our military, you would stop baiting Kim Jong-un into a war that would put 85,000 American troops and millions of innocent civilians in danger.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: All right. Helping us break down the shutdown this morning, David Drucker, senior congressional correspondent for the "Washington Examiner" and Chris Deaton, deputy online editor of "The Weekly Standard." Good morning to both of you.

David, let's bring you in here. You are new to the game here. We have been talking about this for a couple hours now. What is your best guess of what happens at noon? Is there a way forward we have not seen yet?

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think for people that want this to end and probably most people paying attention, they can feel good that the 1:00 a.m. vote was moved to noon. When you have this middle of the night votes, it is usually because the majority is trying to squeeze the minority and make a point.

When Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer gave their statements on the floor of the Senate at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, it was with minimum partisan jabbing and minimal criticism of the other side.

And that was a positive sign. It suggested that what McConnell was doing was allowing for more time for these back-room talks to come to fruition and reach a deal. That was a positive sign and suggests that they could be getting somewhere.

On the other hand, there will be some distance between the two sides and ultimately, I think Democrats are going to have to be satisfied with levels of assurances given by McConnell because I don't think he is going to give them what they want, which is some sort of iron clad procedural mechanism that locks in votes on the DACA issue.

I think that Republicans will hold firm that technically they will reopen the government before they make any iron clad agreement on voting on the DACA issue that would be locked in.

BRIGGS: Some real intellectual dishonesty on the extremes. That is par from the course when it comes to these government shutdowns. But Lindsey Graham I think really spoke some truth as to both sides when asked who wins and who loses in the event of a shutdown. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think your Democratic colleagues are feeling the pressure after this weekend if the government shutdown. What have you been hearing from them?

GRAHAM: If they don't, they are not good listeners. I've been there. Listen, it's not a win for us. The first prize in the government shutdown is you get to be dumb, not dumber. That is the best you can hope for is to look to be dumb. Not the dumbest guy in the room or gal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: That is so good.

BRIGGS: Right? Is that the bottom line, Chris?

CHRIS DEATON, DEPUTY ONLINE EDITOR, "WEEKLY STANDARD": Far be it from me to disagree with the guy who is wearing the college game day hat and fleece around Capitol Hill. It's a pretty relaxed posture for him during the weekend. Definitely the Sunday clothing right there.

Yes, that is definitely the case. I have to assume. We have been talking about the polling that comes in to all of this. I think one of the most interesting polls that came outbreaks out who the American public holds responsible for the shutdown this time around.

[05:10:11] It is split among so many different groups, 31 percent is the largest percentage of plurality of people holding Democrats in Congress responsible for this. But then you have to look down the line. Some people holding Trump responsible and some holding congressional Republicans responsible.

You get closer there to an actual majority of people holding Republicans responsible for this some way or another and I think they kind underscores that nobody comes out this sort of thing looking good.

ROMANS: Chuck Schumer said they had a reasonable compromise. He had a deal with the president for border security in exchange for a deal on DACA and it fell apart. Listen to the senator.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: The bottom line is this, it would be hard to imagine a much more reasonable compromise. I was in principle agreeing to help the president get his signature campaign promise. Something Democrats and Republicans on the Hill staunchly oppose in exchange for DACA, a group of people the president says he has great love for. I essentially agreed to give the president something he has said he wants in exchange for something we both want.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So, a couple of things, David Drucker, it is unclear if the House would go along with that, right? It is unclear and it's clear that the hardliners around the president don't like the deal because they don't think the money is actually going to get, you know, appropriated. It will be deployed. What do you make about the reasonable compromise that Schumer said he had?

DRUCKER: Well, look, I mean, everybody thinks their compromise is reasonable. It depends on what the other side thinks. We have seen movement here on both sides to try to reach a deal at least on Capitol Hill. I do think it is fair to say the president continues to move around the goal post of what is acceptable to him and that makes it difficult to negotiate with him.

But if you talk to Republicans that were privy to the offer that Schumer made, the way they characterize has limited funding for the border wall, not full funding. Democrats still want more taken care of in this DACA deal.

In other words, more protected from deportation than simply the close to 800,000 that signed up and participated in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. That is sort of thing can be a sticking point with many Republicans.

So, and finally, I do think the other thing that you have to look at here is even though there is a lot of support for protecting the DREAMers and that is true on both sides of the aisle and true as well when you look at polling and talk to majority voters.

Republicans still have to look at the aspect of whether or not they will let a minority in the Senate dictate final terms on a deal. They would have their own voter stance or two if they did that, and it would make them look weak. The same way Democrats right now have their base to talk about when it comes to why they are leverage a shutdown to solve the DACA issue.

BRIGGS: It is interesting with Chuck Schumer because the last time we had a shutdown, Chuck Schumer called the very tactic they are using right now, the politicc of idiocy. Shoe is down the other foot now, how do you characterize, though, Chris, the president's role or lack thereof?

DEATON: Well, I think as we have seen that's evident here especially based on "The New York Times" reporting from Friday that the president likes to deal with a few people on Capitol Hill. I think that we have had this thing that has been talked around Washington for a long time about how President Obama did not have good relationships on the Hill.

One President Trump's few prominent relationships on the Hill when it comes to picking up a phone or sitting down and having cheeseburgers is with Chuck Schumer regardless of the fact that he is a Democrat.

So, the fact that they were discussing things and tentatively had some sort of deal hashed out that was later walked back depending on how you characterize it. I don't think it goes much deeper than that sometimes because this type of surface level stuff otherwise.

I mean, he can get into the weeds a little bit with particular individuals. Schumer being the prominent one among them, but again it goes back to this pattern of him liking to deal with certain people and has fell apart this time with him.

BRIGGS: Cheeseburgers were supposed to be out with his new diet, Chris.

ROMANS: That's right. We know the president back in 2013, the last shutdown, he said that it was a failure leadership from the president not from Congress. A tweet for that. Now his challenge is how will he lead through the government shutdown on his watch? All right. Thank you so much, Gentlemen. We will talk to you in a few minutes.

The Screen Actors Guild handing out hardware. What film has momentum heading into the Oscars and what was the subtext? Not so subtext of the whole event.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:18:56]

BRIGGS: Its' 5:18 Eastern Time. Hundreds more of those text messages that Republicans say prove the Mueller probe is tainted are now in the hands of lawmakers. Nearly 400 pages of texts between two top FBI officials delivered to Capitol Hill on Friday. White House say the messages show that some FBI staffers working on the Russia investigation are bias against the president.

ROMANS: Here is one exchange from February of 2016. FBI Lawyer Lisa Page calls it unbelievable that Trump would win the GOP nomination. Counterintelligence Expert Peter Strzok who led the Clinton e-mail investigation response now the pressure really starts to finish the Clinton probe. The first batch of texts included insults targeting both Democrats and Republicans.

It's 19 minutes past the hour. Dozens of women's marches taking place around the nation. These very familiar scenes playing out in cities like Seattle and San Francisco, wow, Miami, Phoenix, Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco. It goes on and on and on.

Demonstrators calling for women's rights and equality urging people to vote in this midterm elections. Sunday was the official anniversary of last year's women's march in Washington.

[05:20:10] That's when hundreds of thousands of women flooded the streets of Washington in a remarkable display of resistance to President Trump. Huge numbers of activists also gathered in cities across Europe including London and Rome.

BRIGGS: Women also taking center stage at this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards. The show featuring nearly all female presenters. Kristen Bell became the first person man or woman hosted the SAG Awards in the 24-year un-hosted history.

As for the winners, Dark comedy "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri" taking home three trophies including top prize.

ROMANS: Among the major tv categories, the HBO limited series, "Big Little Lies" notched a couple of wins for Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgard. "Veep" took home best cast in a comedy, and "This Is Us" won as outstanding drama ensemble. One of the show's stars Sterling K. Brown became the first African-American actor to win for male actor in a drama.

And Julia Louis-Dreyfus who snag two wins broke the record for the most SAG honors for a single actor. She now has nine statues. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was not at the ceremony. She is home recovering from breast cancer surgery.

BRIGGS: OK. Super Bowl LII all set, Patriots and Eagles, once again for the Lombardi trophy. Andy Scholes shows us how they punched their ticket next in "The Bleacher Report."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:26:02]

BRIGGS: We hope you are excited for the Super Bowl. The "New York Post" says New York (inaudible) call it the worst Super Bowl ever. Patriots and Eagles in Minneapolis.

ROMANS: The world is not New York. Andy Scholes has more in "The Bleacher Report." Hey, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Not good for New York Giants fans. It's kind of their nightmare. Patriots and Eagles in the Super Bowl. What will you say? Captain Comeback getting the job done once again.

The 40-year-old Tom Brady leading the Patriots to the Super Bowl for an eighth time. Coming into the game, all eyes were, of course, on Brady's throwing hand that he had to get stiches in midweek.

But apparently nothing stops Tom Brady. He led the Patriots on two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter finding Danny Amendola. The last was the best to get both his feet in. Patriots win 24-20. Belichick and Brady a win away from the sixth Super Bowl title.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM BRADY, PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: It is a mentally tough team. We needed a lot of toughness today and get it done without one of our best players.

BILL BELICHICK, PATRIOTS HEAD COACH: Tom did great job. He's a tough guy. We know that. All right? We're not talking about open heart surgery here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Eagles meanwhile continuing to embrace the underdog role. Fans wearing dog masks to the game. The Vikings marching right down the field scoring touchdown at their first drive, but it was all Eagles from there. Back-up quarterback, Nick Foles, throwing three touchdowns in this one. Eagles scored 38 unanswered to head to the first Super Bowl since 2005.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK FOLES, EAGLES QUARTERBACK: I haven't had time to comprehend what is going on to be honest. I don't know if I ever will. It is unbelievable.

DOUG PEDERSON, EAGLES HEAD COACH: It is surreal. It's -- I love coaching this football team. I love coaching the players. You know, it's a tremendous feeling. Honestly, it hasn't sunk in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: All right. Eagles and their fans have to continue to embrace that underdog role. Six-point favorites for the Super Bowl.

BRIGGS: And if you are looking for tickets, the cheapest right now, $5,000 per ticket. You may want to wait and see --

SCHOLES: I think the market that will fall dramatically, Dave, considering all of the Vikings fans that pay a lot of money hoping that their team was going to be playing in the Super Bowl at home. That market may crash.

BRIGGS: Don't ever under estimate Philly fans. They are diehard. Thank you, Andy.

ROMANS: EARLY START continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: It would be my intention to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. It would be my intention to proceed to legislation that would address DACA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The Senate majority leader intends to address immigration reform, but is that enough for Democrats to back a spending plan to reopen the government? Signs are mixed at this point. We will find out at noon today.

Welcome back to EARLY START on shutdown Monday. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is half past the hour and the government shutdown entering day three here. The first day of unpaid furlough for about 800,000 federal workers. At noon in the Senate, a key vote on the measure to reopen the federal government through February 8th.

New to this deal last night, Republican Leader McConnell's intention to take up a bill that would extend protections for DREAMers. Immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Republicans hope McConnell's promise will lure enough Democrats to turn the government's life back on. BRIGGS: Overnight, two Democratic sources told CNN they expect today's vote to fall short. A top aide said McConnell's commitments are not firm enough. A Republican source tells CNN McConnell made no promise that the House will take up whatever the Senate passes. -